Rally co-driver Shelley Rogerson, from Lancaster, suffered a disappointing Plains rally last Saturday (16th May) when problems with the gearbox of the Peugeot Cosworth she shared with Andrew Burton denied the chance of victory.
The rally, the fourth round of the BTRDA rally championship, started with a short stage around a woodyard near Welshpool. Burton and Rogerson were quickly on the pace, setting third fastest time behind the Subaru of Will Nicholls and the Ford Focus of Hugh Hunter.
The crews then headed for the forests around Corris in Mid-Wales to compete on some of the classic Welsh rally stages. Third fastest on stage two followed by quickest times on stages three and four saw the Peugeot crew arrive at service in the lead of the rally by 12 seconds from Nicholls and Hunter.
“We were pleased to be leading at service, it was very close at the top of the leaderboard and Will and Hugh were pushing hard, “ said Shelley.
“The weather conditions were very changeable which made the stages extremely slippery in parts. We had no problems though and Andy drove well to move into the lead.”
Burton and Rogerson extended their lead by a further two seconds on the fifth stage, Pantperthog, but on stage six a problem with the gearbox meant that they could only set sixth fastest time, dropping to third overall. The problem worsened in stage seven before the crew called it a day in stage eight.
“Part way through stage six we lost second gear and with the gearbox being sequential it meant we were losing time when coming out of the tight corners. Stages seven and eight had a lot of hairpins and uphill corners and we had more problems finding a gear and lost a lot of time. Although the car was still driveable we were no longer competitive so we decided not to risk any more damage and retired in stage eight.“
“It was great that we had the pace to be ahead of the World Rally cars of Nicholls and Hunter but we’re very disappointed not to have made it to the finish. Hopefully the car can be fixed quickly and we can be back out again soon. I’d like to thank Co-ordSport, Nicky Grist, Gilletts Spar and Songasport for their support.”
For more information on Shelley’s rallying please visit www.shelleyrally.com.